The Westminster Assembly Against God being the Author of Sin

The following piece may be the least known, but most important, short document of the Westminster Assembly.  A book was circulated in London arguing that God is the Author even of Sin, this being purportedly for the benefit of saints taking comfort in this in their trials.

The Westminster Assembly requested the English civil Parliament to suppress this blasphemous book.  The Parliament ordered the burning of the book, and that the Westminster Assembly draw up a declaration in order “to declare to the people the abominableness of it.”  The declaration, unanimously approved by the Assembly, with none dissenting, very helpfully and carefully condemns the sentiments of the book that go too far, as many do today, and precisely defines how God orders sin for good, while not being the efficient cause of it, sin coming solely from the creature at God’s effective permission.

In this short piece, see a model example of how the civil government and the Church ought to cooperate between their distinct jurisdictions unto godly purposes, and how censorship of that which is immoral (it violating God’s Law) is good and necessary.

The Westminster Assembly – ‘A Short Declaration of the Westminster Assembly, by Way of Detestation of the Doctrine that God is the Author of Sin’  (London, 1645)  6 pp.